High everyone and welcome to a wet & windy new year! That’s if you are in the UK as I am. This weather reminds me why I departed these shores Sean does not help telling me of the beautiful weather I am missing in Thailand which only makes me more homesick, still its only till 12-3-08 then I can return. Thanks to all of you who have come along to see me at the fishing shows also many thanks to all who have booked trips with us don’t forget folks the last show I will be attending is 5 lakes Essex on the Ninth and Tenth of March come and see us for a special deal to pay my flight home, then its back to paradise! December was a busy month with most guests booking 5 days then extending to 2 weeks to do more fishing and to take in the numerous day trips here, almost every one has already re booked for 2008 so we must be doing something right here.
The month saw 166 fish landed by 26 fishermen and fisherwomen. Arapaima 39 fish up to 260 lbs. Alligator Gar 25 up to 30 lbs. Chao-Phraya catfish 5 up to 50lbs. Giant Gourami 6 up to 17lbs. Mekong catfish 8 up to 84 lbs. Pacu black (vegetarian Piranha) 6 up to 33lbs. Red Tail catfish 38 up to 62 lbs. Red tail cats Thai 3 up to 25lbs. Rahoo carp 2 up to 21 lbs. Siamese carp 13 up to 45 lbs. Soribim 18 up to 27 lbs. Tiger catfish 3 up to 16 lbs. Top Arapaima for the month went to Dan Cox who along with his mate Dave and there delightful partners came for a 5 day stay which extended to 13 days, Dan and Dave were recommended to come over to us by my old mate Lee Jacko, there target fish was as is with most people an Arapaima, Dan fished 2 rods for 4 days with live and dead baits taking Red Tails to 50lbs plus, but the Arapaima were avoiding him then on the afternoon of the 4 th day his fortune’s changed when the greedy sod had a brace inside 2 hours of 220lbs and 260 lbs he promptly packed up and went on the razzle even taking the next day off to take his girlfriend shopping (what a star!) He ended the trip with 3 Arapaima 10 Red Tails to 60 lbs. Plus the biggest Mekong of the month at 84 lbs this fish took a live bait which is the first Mekong we have ever heard of taking a live bait, it also cost me a tenner when I bet my Thai fishing guide Gollock that it would be a Chao-Phraya, Dan had 5 other fish between day trips and is rumoured to be returning in April. What sort of a name is that of our guide (Gollock) Well he came to us 18 months ago as a labourer quickly showing his skills in fish farming with his bubbly personality he became my adopted son and fishing guide (he even calls me poppa the cheeky sod) on his first day I took one look at his buck teeth and named him Gollock Thai for Squirrel now even his Mum calls him by his new name.
Back to the catch report Dan’s mate Dave broke the lake record for Red Tail with a beautiful 62 lbs specimen, there were 3 different 60s this month along with 18 50lb plus specimens, these Red Tails are packing on the weight as the biggest stocked in April 07 were 30lbs. Dave also landed 6 Arapaima to 200 lbs with a total of 14 fish. Our first long stay anglers arrived early in December Mark Champion (alias DS Champion) Accompanied by his stunning partner the one and only Sandy, check out this cool chick in the pictures wearing her fish net stockings while stalking in the bushes for Gourami with my son Sean. Mark (manager of Raisons fishing tackle in Farnborough) and Sandy were on a 24 day trip we had never met before but they are the kind of couple you feel you have known for years by the time they left they were part of the family (see you both next Christmas) Apart from the fishing we took them both to Phuket for a wild night out were Mark had to be kept under control when he took a shine to the strange creatures in dresses and gruff voices! Sandy now holds 7 lady’s lake records quite a mean feat when you understand she was the first lady to fish the lake mind you some of the other lady’s Mark was looking at looked well capable of wrestling our fishy beasts ! The total for these 2 was 44 fish of 11 different species even if one of the species did come from the stock pond! Biggest fish for DS Mark where Arapaima 220 lbs, Red Tail 60lbs, Mekong 68lbs.
Biggest fish for Sandy where Arapaima 185 lbs Mekong 64 lbs (we had to make them smaller than Mark’s!) They also managed a rare Tiger Catfish each these fellas will be stunners when they grow there growth rate is slow for Thai standards at aprox 1 pound per month even Mark and Sandy put on more than that ! UK world travelling specialist angler Colin Lidstone came to Gillhams with Arapaima as his target species taking 2 fish best at 220 lbs, in between relaxing by the pool and chilling out Colin had a few chucks with the fly using a deceiver on sink tip line Colin caught a 20 lb Pacu then retired to his relaxing break vowing to return next Christmas and fish his nuts off after meeting Colin we are sure his next trip to us will be just the same good man enjoy all the holiday. There were many other good fish but we will mention Adrian the scaffolder Hancock who did a week then booked for another week in January his best for December was a 220 lb Arapaima beating his best set the week before in Bangkok by 20 lbs, he managed 5 other fish between drinking out our red wine stocks. Adrian’s partner in crime came to stay and watch the fun the non fishing Dave who had never fished before after sitting on the balcony for the evening seeing if he could drink more than Adrian he arose at the crack of 11am to announce he fancied a go at fishing for what he described as the f-ing great crocodiles he kept seeing his day ended with a 160 lb Arapaima plus 1 Alligator Gar he has vowed to return now he is a fully converted specimen hunter. The Phuket expats club descended on us a few times this month keeping up the tradition of drinking us out of house and home they landed between them 6 Arapaima to 250 lbs, 2 Mekong to 82lbs, plus several other beasts.
We also had the return of Keith from Hong Kong who bravely flew in for a 24 hour session to land 2 Arapaima to 180 lbs 2 Mekong’s to 70 lbs and 4 Soribim in his amazing fly by trip now that’s what I call proper angling. Two unlucky anglers were Matt and Terry who came for two days to us via Big Carp magazine they lost 7 fish between them and landed nothing, feeling sorry for the lads we invited them back for a day on us, it was Terry’s birthday on this day and he got his prezzies in the shape of a 160 lb Harry Palmer plus a 25 lb Sorribim poor old Matt blanked again I think he is after a free season ticket! We finished the day with a good barbeque for birthday boy. Mega fishing sent us 2 day ticket anglers this month who both achieved there target species of Arapaima. All that is left is to tell you about my Christmas present after a hectic Christmas Eve out with our guests we returned home at 3-30 am to find Mark and Sandy had decorated our bedroom with tinsel fairy lights and obscene graffiti. My girlfriend Benz woke me at 5-30 am to inform me that she was ill and needed me to drive her to hospital immediately dashing from bed and running outside to my best ever Christmas present she had secretly bought and arranged delivery of a 95 lb carp for me bless her. The small pond behind the house is now complete and covered in red lilies and the baby Arapaima and Red Tails are now happily installed in there new home. So folks have a great new year catch some whackers and stay lucky. Best wishes from all of us at Gillhams fishing resorts and hope to see you as our guests in 2008.